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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/09/2020 in Posts

  1. 12 points
    Just a few pics from town today... Beach Rd end of Klang about midday. Showing how quiet it is, but far from the deserted images from the European major cities. Klang towards the beach. Beach Road looking South. The Beach looking South. The Beach looking North. The much changed exchange rates, Soi 7 Soi 8
  2. 10 points
    Greetings Monkeywatchers and core coon crap for joining us once again, though you probably haven’t got much else to do at the moment. Ho hum. Predictably, the Kung Flu is still dominating the news in Pattaya. City Hall has announced that pretty much everything has been cancelled for the next six months, including Songkran, the Pattaya Music Festival and the Beach Road Frog Trampling Contest. A long list of cancelled events has been published, though most people don’t seem to have been aware that most of these events existed in the first place. As Joni Mitchell once said, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. And you probably don’t give a monkey’s bollock (she didn’t say that bit.) If that wasn’t enough, it was announced that tourists arriving from certain countries would be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Not much fun if you’ve come to Thailand for a fortnight’s holiday. Though there’s not much chance of that for a while. There’s been some controversy over farangs not wearing masks in Thailand during the current outbreak. Thais seem to be of the opinion that foreigners should be respectful of their culture at this time. So you’ve been told. Wear a mask, eat lots of bugs and drive at 100 mph while pissed out of your mind. Pattaya hotels are refurbishing their rooms in anticipation of the return of the Chinese tourists. Here’s one they’ve just finished… A Chinese chap who’d been to visit Pattaya with a tour group was later found tied up and bundled into a suitcase that had been chucked into the sea. The cause of death hasn’t yet been established though police say they haven’t ruled out suicide. Makes you wonder what they have ruled out. The Health Minister got himself into a spot of hot water after pontificating that Europeans were dirty, didn’t take showers and brought coronavirus to Thailand while fleeing the disease in their own countries. So nothing to do with the Chinese then. Doesn’t come as any surprise really. It’s generally accepted that the Thais don’t like Westerners. Or Russians. Or Chinese. Or Indians. Come to think of it, they don’t seem to like each other too much. Let’s face it, they can’t abide anybody. Welcome to the Land of Smiles. Not content with his previous rant, the minister is now trying to get all the bars, restaurants and nightclubs to stay shut at least until Hell freezes over. Talk about kicking a country when it’s down. We hereby nominated him for the 2020 “Biggest Tosspot Since Purachai Award.” In more enlightened times this man would have been burned at the stake. Pattaya is already preparing to welcome the return of the Chinese tourists with a traditional Thai noose party… Bar news time, and even before the current shutdown it was all all doom and gloom with multiple closures, including three long-established names. Living Dolls Showcase, Heaven Above, Rich, Runway and Club Nevada have all bitten the dust in the last month. At this rate there won’t be any Go Go bars left in Pattaya by the summer, though it probably won’t matter because there won’t be any tourists either. A Thai bloke has been arrested for murder after killing his neighbour because he wouldn’t give him a cigarette. He apparently offed the poor fellow by beating him to death with a pipe. Must have been a bloody big pipe, like that one Sherlock Holmes used to smoke. Actually, if he had a pipe, why did he need a cigarette anyway? Silly bugger. Let’s take a magic carpet ride back to pre-virus days now with a peek at a trio of stories from Monkeywatch in March 2010… “Remember Naklua opening its own version of Walking Street that was going to give Pattaya a whole new image? Well, it’s closed down already. Just more proof if it were needed that social engineering in Pattaya is about as feasible as knitting fog. A worker was rushed to hospital the other week after suffering severe burns in the Nong Pla Lai district while erecting a neon sign outside a convenience store. Locals are referring to the incident as “the tragic events of 7/11”. Seventy people convicted of drunk driving offences have each been sentenced to six hours community service - presumably as baht bus drivers until they sober up.” Post–lockdown civil disorder has already begun in Pattaya with the murder of this wheelie bin… In order to increase demand for rubber, the Rubber Authority of Thailand is to use the substance for manufacturing anatomical models. Funny, thought those things were banned. As soon as the entertainment venues in Pattaya were closed down, there was a mass stampede of temporarily displaced staff to Koh Larn where they all ended up standing shoulder to shoulder like a very big tin of sardines. It would seem that the local government’s social distancing policy needs a spot of tweaking. However, they decided not to bother and just shut the island down completely. So having lost the Chinese and Indian tourists, they’ve now got rid of the Thais as well. Think they might have to adjust their 2020 tourism predictions down a tad. And to finish as we started on a Kung Flu story, all visitors to Thailand (if there are any) must now download an app that will allow the authorities to track them wherever they go. So presumably not owning a mobile phone means you’ll get deported. A bit harsh maybe, but very reminiscent of the British schoolmaster who used to invite some of the younger boys round to his house to see his new state-of-the-art tape recorder. Then the headmaster found out that he didn’t own a tape recorder and he was sent to prison. I mean, what kind of a society is it where a man can be jailed just because he doesn’t own a tape recorder? be seeing you monkeyman
  3. 6 points
    For me, it started a few weeks ago when I was listening to the news on TV. Had Duterte just shut down Manila for a month, did I hear that right. Checked the internet and for sure 3-hours ago, 6-hours ago reports say it was true. It was way back in November, I had planned to get away from Songkran for nearly a month in the Philippines. (Songkran has now been cancelled) I had planned a bit of island hopping going to Coron, El Nido, Puerta Princesa and then 10-days in Sabang, Puerta Gallera to finish off, a place of last years Philippine report trip. On my morning walk took my Passport and stopped off at the Thai Air office at the top of Beach Road near the Dusit. The place was packed, could not even get to the ticket machine so I give it a miss and would try again in the afternoon. My first thought was... are all these guys going to Angeles. In the afternoon the office was empty so picked a number and walked straight up to the desk. Told I would get a full refund but wait for it, expect to wait 45-days. WTF Thai Air will probably go bust by then. I also have a July trip booked on BA to Heathrow. This could also be sliding away depending on events. Then came the warning of bar closures. It was Wednesday and I am always optimistic I would find a bar open. A walk down soi 6 confirmed the worst as all the bars were in darkness a few bars had the shutters half way down with girls sitting on the floor eating and talking. A walk up soi 7 and to my surprise, the bars were open but it felt just like the Kings Funeral with all the bars in semi darkness and no music, total silence. The girls were wondering what they were going to do and after a number of visits (warnings) by the police the bars on soi 7 closed at 12-midnight. On the Thursday there were guys wandering the streets looking for a saviour. I was one of them. Took the GF out to eat roast duck at the Leng kee restaurant on Pattaya Klang and consumed a number of large Chang from the promotion girl at their special price of 100 baht. With my Philippine trip down the pan and the bars all shut I needed a holiday and it was time to get the hell out of Dodge. That night packed my case and the following day set off in the direction of Hua Hin to my regular stop at the Tanawit hotel and spa. The beer bar area in the town was closed and the place looked deserted. Had my mandatory Hawaiian pizza in Roberto's Italian restaurant with large Leo's. Only one bar was open at the back of the Hilton Hotel near to the beach. It was full so went into one of the restaurants nearby on stilts overlooking the sea. No problem just ordering beer. Then went to check out the night market close to my hotel and it was kicking with the C.O. Bar doing good business. C.O Bar in the market After my morning walk down the beach, a croissant and a 7-Eleven coffee drove South down to Surat Thani to the Orchid Riverside Hotel where I have stayed before. On checking in, all the staff have masks and have the infra red temp gun zapped on my head to show 37 degrees. Around 200 yards away there is an exercise park on the island and next to it an excellent restaurant by the river called Crossroads, this time it was large Leo's shared between two. View from Crossroads Restaurant Surat Thani After a 7-Eleven coffee an early start by my standards to the Raja Ferry Port at Donsak which is around 45-minutes drive with very few cars on the road. Saw the Raja turn off sign too late as I was going too fast but from the Garmin GPS carried on the road another few clicks and found a PTT petrol station to tank up the car. Would expect gas more expensive on the island. (was 3-baht per litre more) Drive 5-minutes and passed the Seatran ferry port and then to the Raja ferry where the pre-check-in is another temperature check on your head and a stamp on the back of my hand. 520 baht is the price of the ticket for car and driver + 1 passenger to Koh Samui. The queue is short and 15-minutes later have parked on board and sat in the upper air con lounge. Queue is very short Only 6-passengers upstairs, a few with face masks. Others stay in their cars and pick ups. 90-minutes or so and we are docking. Road signs are pretty shit and I make two wrong turns before I see a sign for Lamai. Have been to Koh Samui twice in my 'party days' in 2003 and 2006 when it was ramming, staying on Chaweng Beach at the Coral Beach Resort but this time decided a little quiet time in Lamai was in order. Stopped at the Best Resort which cost 900 baht a night with parking, a room overlooking the swimming pool with a/c no frills and book for 2-nights so I can get my bearings. Coconut bar and Bamboo restaurant on the beach does a big English breakfast for 100 baht. A SML is 70 and big bottles of Leo 100. Bamboo Restaurant Beach Grand father/ mother Rocks shaped like cock and pussy Walk one street back and all the bars are in full swing with customers. Some beer bars have girls but no music. The last time I was here, hired a motor bike and checked out Lamai but did not find all the beer bar areas and now it looks like there are more than Chaweng. Drive around to Chaweng beach and the road is half dug up. Reminds me of Beach Road in Pattaya. All the road dug up Drive into Central Festival to park. Have passport copied and temperature check before entering. This mall is open air and far too hot for walking around. Checked out the Coral Beach Resort which may have been taken over by Ark Bar where I stayed years ago. It was boarded up and closed. Coral Beach Resort may now be Ark Bar Closed no customers A bar in town is selling beer and is open till 10pm, the guy welcomes us to come in but it is far too early Bar area not a girl in sight In Lamai I find some restaurants have stopped selling beer, some are open till 6pm and some till 10pm. I guess it is who has connections or pays with brown envelopes. There are still foreigners on holiday out on the beach oblivious of flight cancellations. The night market may as well pack up as there are no customers. Why set a stall no fallang A day or so later all the bars in town closed and so did the night market. Bar Area closed Moved a few hundred yards down the road to the Coconut Beach Resort which has big rooms, English tv, swimming pool, gym and sun loungers on the beach, negotiated a deal for 1000 baht a night. Booked for 5-nights with the intention of staying longer depending on the situation. There are two Coconut beach resorts the other is called Coconut beach Lamai. Hotel. Pool. Beach sunbeds. Ideal location One man and his dog Bo Phut view of Koh Phangan (monthly moon party) Santiburi Golf Club very expensive A look on Booking.com and it was advertised at over 1800 baht a night but I think we are the only ones here. Restaurants on the beach are still selling food and booze. At breakfast, told by restaurant staff to wear a face mask when going out around town. Very few people are out now. Everyone in Tesco Lotus and Big C wearing masks, more temperature checks and sanitiser on entering. Less tourists are now left around the beach. Blue sky, lovely blue sea and fresh air (AQI under 20) To get rid of my Pattaya cough. My routine has now changed. No more staying out till midnight. A full English breakfast. A drive around the island to another beach. Sight seeing. A lounge on a sun bed and swim sea/pool. Out early doors for beers on the beach and then a meal. A few beers/Sam Song coke on the beach with the GF, I have a cool bag. Early night around 9 to 10pm Watch a movie for an hour or two. Always useful to have a cool bag with ice Book another three then another two more nights in this hotel as the place is ok. Phuket is going under a curfew, sounds like there already is one in Pattaya as everything is closed after 10pm. Will there be a lock-down, a lot of speculation. There needs to be a heads up. If I get stuck here for a month or two it would not be the end of the world. Have checked out some beach resorts for a long term stay, around 10,000 baht a month. Hear that the hotel next to the restaurant I am drinking in has 3-Russian tourists. They want to get rid of them as they want to close. Most hotels along the beach have closed with signs saying open in July. Is that really 2020 optimistic? As of today Samui has a population of around 70,000 locals. And there are only 3-confirmed cases on Samui, Two are French guys, one coming back from France and the other from the Philippines. The other is a Thai doctor. Koh Phangnan the moon party island has zero cases. Pattaya has a population of 320,000 / Chonburi 1.5 million population with 38 cases including 2-Brits. I keep distance, wear a mask in shops and think on the whole it is safer to be down here for the time being. I did try to buy the malaria tablets chloroquine and Azilthromycin at a chemist but the doctor told me the hospital has taken full control of these drugs. The ironic thing is a few years ago I cleaned out my medicine cabinet and threw away these pills (I used them in my Africa days) I still have a supply of Lariam which was considered a substitute. It is like a delaying tactic but sure as hell the same rules are regulations are working their way down to Samui. (Surat Thani Province) Still serve beer on the beach till 6pm but now only do take-aways. All right for the GF as the food carts are her staple diet. Time to call it a day and go home tomorrow. Time to go home Got there in time for the 8am ferry but looks like schedules have changed as it sailed after 9am then spent 30-minutes waiting for a berth at the Donsak mainland. 11:30 and we disembark with half the day gone. The drive back is pleasing with no traffic, one checkpoint asking where we go, the next is a pull over and a temperature check. The GF wants to visit her home in Isaan but driving today I have only seen one empty bus and one taxi in 6-hours. It is after 5:30pm and I have had enough so pull into Prachaup Kiri Khan which is only around 10-minutes off the main drag. Stayed here before at the Beach hotel and dinned upstairs in a small restaurant overlooking the sea obviously this time it was closed. Decide to try the Prachaup Grand which was a walk in rate of 1400 baht with breakfast. Only one other car in the parking lot. The Agoda rate is only 10 baht less so will not be running around to pay at a 7-Eleven. Nice room, restaurant open, we are the only ones here. Only around 10 things on the menu but the Pad Se Ew Chicken was excellent washed down with 3-Leo's at 60 baht each. After breakfast set off with the drive to Pattaya expecting more checkpoints as I read Pattaya is going to be locked down. The drive around the coast is quiet with only a build up of traffic around Bangkok and over the Chao Phraya River bridge. Eventually arrive Pattaya without one temperature check. A few checkpoints but just waved through mostly stopping pick up trucks. Take from this trip: I felt like I was a storm chaser but chasing beer and food with the rules and regulations changing by the day. I have experienced a beach holiday for the first time in years and it was a pleasant change. Blue sky, blue sea and clean air. All roads are well back from the beach with very little traffic. It has given me another option from my regular trips to Hua Hin and Koh Chang which are just over 4-hours. For me, this trip needs a day stop over as it is a tad over 800 kilometers. Now I am back in Pattaya I can still walk down the beach, it is not closed. (there were quite a few girls yesterday afternoon) and swim in the pool but I am now going to be oblivious to the passing of time. I used to know what day it was by what I was going to eat and now the weekends have no sport, one day is just the same as any other. One thing I know for sure is I would still rather be here than the UK. There are many food carts on soi Buakhao, I picked up a white grilled fish today, yesterday was ribs from Big C. Cheap Charlies and The Hungry Monkey look like they are doing take away so I will not go short. And as for drinking at home, maybe it is time to cut down on the beer and loose a few kilo.
  4. 6 points
    Water truck with free water made a trip down our soi this morning. We've been without city water for three days now due to a broken main, so the free water is appreciated. Someone asked if Katesiree was still serving coffee. Sadly the answer is no, at both locations. Still working on the new Jomtien Hospital. Looks like outpatient services are open. Resorts/ST rooms are now closed.
  5. 6 points
    Line at Thai Airways office this morning. Road into New Plaza getting a scrub. First thing that caught my eye was the free food part. Thought, that's a nice gesture in these trying times. Alas, once my brain caught up to what my eyes were seeing I realized she was using an old Korando's Bar party poster for a tablecloth.
  6. 6 points
  7. 6 points
    Beach Rd photo update, starting from the north end. Never noticed any customers before today at the Thai Airways office. Line out the door keeping a proper social distance, probably looking to rebook canceled flights. Looking north opposite Holiday Inn Looking south from the same spot Soi 1 Noticed this guy digging himself a cool spot in the sand. Pavement work opposite The Bay Water north of Soi 6 is currently draining into a pit. Very odd they don't have a pipe yet that connects to the new drains south of this point. Drain grates completed from just north of the Klang intersection. Typical, quality Thai engineering on show. Curb construction almost to Mike's Mall. South end getting pumped out. Beach is pretty empty. And no parasails in the air.
  8. 5 points
    My opinion is that you should get back as much of your money as you can, by whatever means possible. Forget postponing - it'll be many months (possibly years) before you'll want / be able to do the trip.
  9. 5 points
    As promised, the latest photo update of the shrinking Mabprachan Reservoir. You can see in the screenshot below today's ride spent a lot of time riding areas that used to be underwater, but is now bone dry lakebed. First up is the southern edge of the water. Pic 01: Still a bit of water, but not much, around the overflow structure. Northern edge of the water. Pic 02: Panoramic shot looking east at what's left of the main body of water in the reservoir. Pic 03: Pumping water from the main body to the channel that leads to the pumping station. Pic 04: Draining the last bit of water from this area. Pic 05: North of the pumping station there is no more water to be had. Pic 06 Pic 07 Pic 08 Pic 09 Pic 10 Pic 11: High spots in the area north of the land bridge are now becoming visible. It won't be long before the water is drained from this area too. Pic 12: Gap in the land bridge. Still too deep to wade across. Pic 13: This gap though can be easily waded across. This guy provided a good example of how shallow it is around this area. It wasn't until he reached the buoys that the water was over his head. Dry land as of 10 Mar, 2020 Pic 14: Fishing shelter left high and dry. Pic 15: Tree stump sentinels wondering where all the water went. Pic 16: I imagine this cistern dates back to a time before the reservoir was built. Pic 17: The floating pump house is no longer drawing water from what's left of the main body of water.
  10. 4 points
    I was a little worried going out on this morning's photo recon of Mabprachan Reservoir due to the announcement the area reservoirs were closed to all activities. I was also wondering if I might face checkpoints on the way back to my home in Pattaya. Neither concern came to pass as there were 20 or so out on the reservoir running and biking, and there were no checkpoints outbound or on my return. That's the positive, now the negative. Mabprachan has maybe a week to 10 days of water left. There was no point in recording GPS waypoints of the current shoreline as you can see in the pictures below all that's left is basically two, ever shrinking, large pools of water. I've place all the reservoir photo albums into a collection on Flickr (link). For Mabprachan that's a photo history going back to Sept, 2015. For Huai Chak Nok I only started documenting that reservoir in Dec, 2019.
  11. 4 points
    A pic from a friend when Mabprachan was overflowing.
  12. 4 points
    After Mabprachan, next stop was a photo recon on the state of Huai Chak Nok Reservoir. Map updated with waypoints marking the current shoreline edge. When I got to the turnoff for the road over the dam, I was surprised to see they had it barricaded. No doubt closed due to the latest edict from the Chonburi Governor to keep people from gathering in groups of any size. Since I was a group of one, and seeing a guy walking his dogs in the distance I figured I'd chance it. So lifted my bicycle over the barricade and had a nice quiet ride by my lonesome self across the dam. New since the last update is a retaining wall around this pumping station, and a pump to get water from the main body into the small pond. What I don't understand is why they just didn't dig the channel deeper eliminating the need for a pond and another pump. The latest position of the receding shoreline, just on the other side of the pumping station. Final pic is the other receding shoreline.
  13. 4 points
    I,however, am quite relieved ........
  14. 4 points
    Update of the north end of Beach Rd as of this morning. Looks like they might be fast tracking the project now that there's very few tourists left. Soi 1 Soi 2 Soi 3 Soi 5 And at Soi 6 it looks like they either dug out the buried pipe that connects the south end of the drains, or they installed the missing section in the past week. At any rate, the water from the north now has a way to continue on to the south.
  15. 4 points
    Amen. What if...? 1. We have no vaccine for MERS or SARS. What if we are unable to develope a vaccine for Covid-19? 2. What if we don't develope immunity to this virus and run the risk of reinfection? 3. Are we to stop our economies for ever? Our ancestors accepted death. They didn't stop commerce or living their lives. In 1918, the Spanish Flu infected roughly 1/3 of the world's population (500 million) and killed roughly 10% of those infected. People went on living. There is no evidence that this virus will be any worse than the yearly max of flu deaths worldwide (under 700,000). I'm in a higher risk group. I take reasonable precautions. Many are in a low risk for death group. They need to go to work but people like me need to stay away from them or wear protective gear. I was having groceries and sundries delivered to my house. Now, with so many staying home, I can't get a delivery time. That forces me and others in a higher risk group to go to the store. I have faced death. I won't be cowed by hand wringers. No one gets out of here alive. I don't want to hasten death but I won't live in fear of it. Get back to work or even more will die in poverty/homelessness when the worldwide depression hits. Finally, these pandemics of undiscovered viruses are happening more frequently. Are we supposed to shutdown for every one? We need to learn to live with these since it is obvious we can't prevent them from happening...yet.
  16. 4 points
    I don't think I'm interpreting the situation the same as you are. As I read the situation, absent a vaccine or cure, we are all going to catch it. As some of us will get it very seriously, the government is simply trying to make sure we don't all get it at the same time.
  17. 4 points
    Greetings Monkeywatchers, showaddy crap to you all, and welcome to this month’s disease ridden edition. Masks on and off we go. The big story at the moment is of course the spreading of the Woohoo Flu to Thailand. The authorities have issued various guidelines in an attempt to keep holidaymakers safe, such as wear a mask, keep away from wild animals and if you see a Chinese tourist, shoot first and ask questions later. Pattaya Hospital has announced that is now fully equipped to deal with the virus – they’ve just received a consignment of coffins and body bags. The Thai government is considering extending Songkran this year to increase tourism. Would’ve thought that was the one thing guaranteed to decrease it. Refreshingly honest… A cheeky thief snatched the bag of a Chinese tourist who was standing right next to a police box in North Pattaya the other week. Police immediately set of in pursuit of the miscreant but were unable to apprehend him. When the officers returned they found that their police box had been stolen. Thieves in most places will steal anything that isn’t nailed down. In Pattaya they’ll steal it anyway and take the nails as well. A serial pickpocket has been arrested yet again, this time for picking the pocket of an Indian tourist. When asked what kind of person would choose an Indian tourist to pickpocket, the miscreant replied “Somebody who needs a new pocket.” Reminisce as we waft you back in time with a trio of memories from Monkeywatch in February 2010… “A Russian tourist was sliced in two by a speedboat the other Monday whilst swimming in a boating channel off the coast of Koh Larn. A police spokesman said they were still trying to locate the man’s other half, though it’s unclear at this stage whether or not they were referring to his wife. The other Monday, a street vendor staggered into Dongtan Police Station to report that he had been robbed at gunpoint while selling bags to tourists. A statement from the police said that this was a clear case of Bagman and Robbin’. A Norwegian bloke made a complaint to Pattaya Police the other week that 34,675 baht had gone missing from his hotel safety deposit box. He was immediately arrested for pedantry and placed on the sex offenders’ register.” City Hall was ordered to submit plans for a green transport initiative. This is what they came up with… A bit of bar news now, and Harem has reclosed, reopened and reclosed, whereas Party Girlz, not to be outdone, has reopened, reclosed, reopened again and reclosed again. Pulse has also just closed but this one looks to be more permanent. The Dark Knight rises on LK Metro with the opening of Rise, which uses the Batman logo in its sign. Perhaps they should’ve called it Even Newer Bat. Angel has closed too as the number of Go Go’s continues its steady decline. Black Snake Club, however, has been de-poofterized and is now a coyote bar avec girlies. Expect a closure soon. A local boat captain had a bit of a surprise earlier this month when he spotted what he had initially thought to be a dead dog in the water but was actually a dead deer. He said he’d no previous experience of dead deer though he’d heard that farangs often use the expression when visiting Go Go bars. Speaking of floaty dead things, a swarthy chap of indeterminate ethnicity has been found floating in Pattaya Bay with an 8 kilogram stone hanging round his neck. Police are running checks to see if any Elizabeth Taylor impersonators have been reported missing. Looks like at least one Chinese tour group has managed to get to Pattaya… Despite the massive drop in Chinese tourists, ferries are still running to Koh Larn, but the operators say they may not be able to keep running with the reduced passenger number as the boats are now only 50 percent overloaded. A man is being sought by police for threatening staff in a traditional Thai massage shop when the masseuse refused to give him a “happy ending”. The strange thing is that this wasn’t some dumb newbie tourist but actually a Thai dude. It’s one thing not understanding a foreign culture but not understanding your own? Silly bugger. Suppose we can’t close without mentioning the Brit bloke who had to call an ambulance after ripping the end of his dick off while shagging his hourly rental girlfriend in a particularly vigorous manner. Not so much a dickhead as a no dickhead. be seeing you monkeyman
  18. 3 points
  19. 3 points
    Just checked my credit card account on-line again. The refund got credited on 3 April. Deep joy!! And well done EVA!
  20. 3 points
    Bazle, My refund came through today, it was the cost minus the £165 cancellation fee, paid into my account. I applied the same day you did. hopefully yours will come through soon as well mate.
  21. 3 points
    Arrive at the parking lot. , 2 large tents. Do not go to one on the left. Huge lines ,not moving . On the right there is a line for a visa more than 10 deep. Go around or through them and directly to the 90 day desk no lines. Get a number and every several minutes they come out calling numbers with your passport. In at 9:10, out at 9:20.
  22. 3 points
  23. 3 points
    Got out and had a look at Mabprachan Reservoir this morning. Since the water that remains is relatively shallow, the shoreline has receded quite a bit from the last update five days ago. Maps of the receding shoreline and photo waypoints are now at the end of the post. Pic 01: View from the south end of the dam. The southern shoreline as of today. In a few days that finger of water will be nothing but a memory. They're catching some nice size fish now. Pic 02: Not much of gap left between the dam and the dry land on the other side of the shallow channel of water. Pic 03: The landbridge gap in the distance is now dry. Pic 04: Quite a few of the fishermen are using the dry highpoints for their fishing base of operation. The north side shoreline is more like a small cove now. And the shore is quite a big bigger than five days ago. Pic 05 Pic 06: Not much water left. Pic 10: Since the last update they've dug the channel to the pumps a bit deeper. Pic 11: Fulfilling a request for a dead tree fan. Pic 12 Pic 13: It's looking like the Flower Land retaining pond is going to have water when the reservoir is nothing but a mud hole. To make it easier to see how much the shoreline has receded over time, I'm trying something new with an embedded map that has waypoints for where the shoreline was on the different update dates. To view the date the shoreline was at that point, click on the black circle waypoint in the map.
  24. 3 points
    As long as we're all still alive and well this time next year thats all that matters.
  25. 3 points
    Gulf Air have been brilliant. Their offices open in bangkok and they got me flights home direct with Thai tonight free of charge.
  26. 3 points
    Good news, the rear derailleur was quickly replaced and only set me back 1,500B + 200B for the pickup from where I broke down. Bad news, they replaced the derailleur with the wrong model so it jams when I try to shift up into the two highest gears. Not worth the time and effort to go back to the shop to have them do it correctly, instead ordered the correct model from Lazada for 1,200B which should arrive from China in about a week. Meanwhile the bike is still rideable, so did a group ride with friends this morning and when we were near Huai Chak Nok Reservoir, split from the group to get a photo update of the current water levels there. For reference, picture waypoints and receding water edge marked on Google Earth. Pic 1 The water's edge since the last update 10 days ago isn't as dramatic as what is happening at Mabprachan Reservoir. Perhaps because the demand for water from this reservoir is less. For comparison, on 17 March the water's edge was just on the other side of the overflow structure. Pic 2 Pic of water's edge on the other side. When I turned around and looked on the other side of the dam, I at first thought these two rigs in the distance might be for drilling bore holes. Unfortunately, on closer inspection I saw they were pile drivers. I wonder if the water dept has even considered drilling bore holes as a backup water supply. Pic 3 Click on black circle waypoints to view date shoreline was at that point.
  27. 3 points
    Retirement extension of my in country non-immigrant O due by 28 April so decided to go today as the best of the various suboptimal alternatives. You queue outside the building to get a number. It is covered and there are a couple of fans. Arrived about 9:30 and it took about an hour to get in the door. They let perhaps ten in at a time. Guy takes your temperature before letting you in and you get a number. Good news is that it is not completely jammed inside. They were processing the number before mine when I got in. Young guy checking the documents at counter 8. I had a photo which he attached to the TM.7. Apparently, a copy of the house book and a couple of utility bills were sufficient for proof of address. The income letter which I got from Bangkok Bank was in order. He did ask if I had proof of my pension. Printed it off last week but forgot to bring it. He said he would call if the boss wanted it. No mention of insurance. There is a notice about insurance for O-As. Given the green receipt card and told to come back tomorrow afternoon. Overall, they're doing pretty well under the circumstances. Wore a mask to be a good neighbor. Outside, there was a separate canopy to the right with a big sign for document precheck. Did not go through it. There was a small sign on the table for "90 day".
  28. 3 points
  29. 3 points
    Obtaining food & toilet paper during crazy times! d7e1c48c-5060-424d-b08c-3dca0c94c1ca.MP4
  30. 3 points
    Also if you cancel a flight the airline should give you the tax back that applied to your ticket. Often the tax makes up half the price of the ticket.
  31. 3 points
    Stop Press News. An Isis suicide bomber killed himself and 78 family members after deciding to work from home.
  32. 3 points
    Y'all can thank me for the rain. Filled the rainwater collection tank last night from the water truck, so no surprise it's raining buckets of water 12 hours later.
  33. 2 points
  34. 2 points
    China: 'We've Completely Cured Coronavirus And Everything Is Fine Here And No One Is Allowed In To Check'
  35. 2 points
    Save water - drink more beer!! 😁
  36. 2 points
    And to a degree Butch, people had the same failings as the carriers did! I would like to know when some of the stranded people started to make some effort. And how many people were rescheduling outward journeys, when common sense tells them that no journey should be made at all, for the foreseeable future. In my case, I think the carrier was to blame. Their software did not even allow me to cancel the booking ( I was not seeking a re-booking nor even a refund, I knew that was not available). Their website didn't give me that option and I became a no-show, when that seat may have been of use to someone.
  37. 2 points
    They cancelled the Frog Trampling Contest? Bastards! I've practicing all year!
  38. 2 points
  39. 2 points
    Picked up the passport with a new extension just after 3pm. They had a table under an awning just to the right of the street entrance so quite quick and easy to keep my distance. I should add that yesterday, I also submitted a copy of my bank book for proof of income. Now, just hoping I didn't draw the short straw standing in line yesterday.
  40. 2 points
    Didn't Joni also sing (in the same song) "They paved Bali Hi to put up a parking lot" ??
  41. 2 points
    Now that we're getting down to the last bits of usable water it's quite visible how quickly Mabprachan Reservoir is shrinking. The southern water's edge as of today. Pic 01: Not much water left in the reservoir. The only relatively deep water that remains is close to the dam, with the majority of the area left covered in water relatively shallow. Best guess is there's maybe two weeks, three at the most of usable water in Mabprachan. Pic 02 North side is more shallow than the southern side, so the water's edge is receding at a faster pace. Only a small channel of water left now leading to the overflow structure. Pic 03 They're going to have to get some equipment in soon to dig the channel to the pumps deeper. Pic 04 Pic 05 Pic 06 Pic 07: I realized I've been remiss in not taking the iconic photo of the dried up lake bed. Now rectified. Pic 08 Pic 09: Have to be careful where you ride on the lake bed. Some spots are still wet and soft enough underneath that you can easily sink up to your wheel hubs in muck if you pick the wrong place to cross. Pic 10: Channel in the land bridge still too deep to cross, unless you want to swim. Some of the high spots now poking out of the water have cylindrical concrete forms next to them. No idea what purpose they served. Fishing is apparently still good. Good they're catching a meal now rather than letting the fish go to waste when there's nothing left but a mud hole. Pic 11 Another marker for the edge of the water as of today. Whoever lost a boat anchor, you can retrieve it now. Pic 12: Hard to tell from a distance where there's a clear path across the lake bed. Hit two dead ends in my ride back to the old shoreline. Pic 13: Another dead end unless I wanted to wade across in muck up to my knees. Pic 14 Pic 15: What once was probably a good fishing spot. I'm afraid this ride took a toll on my bike. I felt something wasn't right with the rear derailleur during my ride through heavy weeds from the pumping station to Pic 07. It finally gave out, more like a catastrophic failure, during the last push up the sandy embankment to the bike path around the reservoir. The bit you see in the pic stuck in the cassette is supposed to be pointed 180 degrees the other way. My bad luck continued when I walked 2.5 km around the reservoir to Cycle Hub, only to find they're closed on Tuesdays. Fortunately I had the phone number for Eastern Bike, who came and picked me up. I'll find out tomorrow what the damage will be to my wallet for the fix. I'll then open a GoFundMe page. 🤑
  42. 2 points
    New Zealand is closed to all except citizens and permanent residents returning home. The only exceptions are family of the above and some workers in the health sectors. Is she one of those people? If not she needs to check carefully before she travels here, they are refusing to let people in.
  43. 2 points
    How many would have been in the air at the same time a month ago? A lot of people are still getting home, can you please look again in exactly one weeks time?
  44. 2 points
    What with all the flight cancellations going on there's going to be a lot less CO2 dumped into the upper atmosphere. Don't know what effect that's going to have on global warming, but it can't hurt.
  45. 2 points
    I think the reason is 2 fold Bullfrog, Thai are in desperate financial difficulties at the moment and as the list shows, have cancelled swathes of flights and grounded planes. May / June is the low point before school hols in July / Aug as well, plus the whole thing is exacerbated by the current situation. There will be some good deals floating around for the time you wish to go, hopefully!
  46. 2 points
    Thappraya Rd / Jomtien 2nd Rd Junction. Concreting complete on the right hand lane of each carriageway. The southbound carriageway on 2nd Rd is now blocked off just after the lights with a contraflow system operating on the northbound carriage way. The exact layout seems to change every few days. (Apologies for the quality of the photo).
  47. 2 points
    Came home about 10pm last night and passed a fire dept water truck the next soi over filling water tanks for free. Unfortunately they never made it over to our soi, but a private truck was filling tanks for a small tip. Word from my lady is the water was paid for by Hollywood Pattaya as advertising for their venue, and a local politico looking to gain favor and votes in the next election. Smart thinking on both parties parts. The truck ran out of water before it got to our house, so my lady stayed up until midnight to wait for the trucks return. Topped up our below ground tank and my rain water collection tank for a 200B tip. Might not have needed a top up on the rainwater tank as there's an 80% chance of rain today. She asked the driver what's going on with the lack of city water, but he didn't know. Word on the soi is the fire dept truck personnel were asked the same question, but wouldn't answer the question. That's telling in itself. Govt is being tight lipped on the reality of the water situation. In addition to tracking the shrinking of Pattaya reservoirs, looks like I have a new metric to track. Now four days without city water.
  48. 2 points
    Maybe, just maybe, after Brexit, the Brits and no longer considered European! Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
  49. 2 points
    The Eastern Water Resources dept has finally gotten around to updating their Weekly Water Situation report. The last report I posted was on 21 February, and the combined reservoir level stood then at 63.15 million cubic meters (MCM). Their 28 February report had the level at 58.76 MCM, and the latest report, 6 March reports the level is now at 55.42 MCM. That works out to a water consumption rate of 3.9 MCM/week. We now have about 23.7 MCM of usable water left in the reservoirs, or about 6 weeks of water left. My estimate of 17 April as the day the taps run dry still holds true. I'm heading out now to snap pics of the Mabprachan Reservoir meadows and mud hole. Will post a photo update of Mabprachan later today. source: https://www.eastwater.com/en/Customer/WeeklyWaterSituation
  50. 2 points
    It is another option but Extensions of Tourist Visa and Visa Exempt Entries are usually straightforward in Jomtiem, and if you are in Pattaya or Jomtiem area it is an easy place to find. Just a government office and a bit irritating.
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